Reflections With Coffee
March 4, 2011
by Betty McBroom
One of the hardest parts of growing up is being different.
“They’ll laugh at me.”
Larry Peterson addresses this issue in Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes.
If you had to wear shoes like these, everybody would laugh like Elmo.
That is precisely what happens in the book. Even though there’s no Elmo, everyone rofls (rolls around on the floor laughing). The kids in class, the teacher (!), the principal (gasp). Even the the jet plane in the sky tips its wings because people inside are laughing.
What happens next? Spoiler coming, but as we’re all adults here and this is a children’s book — I’ll go ahead and mention it. Slippery Willie wakes up. It was a dream. He still has to wear these stupid, ugly shoes, but life is not as bad as he expected. Why worry?
This is a sweet book, brings back memories. I remember fussing at age 11 because my mother insisted I wear a certain dress to a family Christmas gathering. Turned out the dress didn’t matter, it was one of the most fun parties I remember. But I digress.
Because of the long text on some pages, the book would serve better as a read-aloud book in the classroom rather than being a “reader” for children. There are good discussion questions about differences in the back of the book; the same questions can be found here. If you have suggestions, please post here!